In the Vedas and Puranas (Hindu sacred texts), we can find traces of Dhanvantari, avatar of Vishnu, who is both the father and god of Ayurveda. He is pictured as a fourth-arms Vishnu holding medicinal herbs and the cup containing the Amrita, the nectar of revitalization and immortality. According to Hindu mythology, Dhanvantari emerged from the ocean of milk during its "baratement" by the Devas and Asuras (the demons).
One of the founding texts in Ayurveda is the 'Sushruta Samhita' treatise. Dated back the first millennium of our era, it is made up of 184 chapters, describes 1120 diseases, 700 medicinal plants, 64 mineral based preparations and 57 animal substances based drugs.
Among the various database of Ayurveda and its 8 branches (specialities), one is really fascinating, the RASA SHASTRA. A kind of Vedic alchemy, this practice consists in adding minerals like copper, arsenic, gold or even lead into the Rasayanas.
Ayurveda puts spices at the heart of its medica and its nutrition. Indian food is using more than twenty sorts of spices and its qualities are even written on 3000 years old papers.
Here is a list of the spices most frequently used in food and in daily care.